Archive for the ‘human replacement’ tag
A Twitter friend working in artificial intelligence clued me into this cool open source project that’s just getting going.
The general idea is to start with a digital form of a simple life form and evolve it into a general intelligence much as we have evolved from simple origins. Unlike the real world the computer can run through millions of evolutions in a very short time.
An open source project openworm has been started. You’ll find source code and demos there.
To bring you up to speed on worms you’ll want to dig through C. Elegans II an online textbook on C. elegans.
Also you’ll want to dig into WebGL which is used to create the 3D world demos.
The sight of a cockroach scurrying for cover may be nauseating, but the insect is also a biological and engineering marvel, and is providing researchers at Oregon State University with what they call “bioinspiration” in a quest to build the world’s first legged robot that is capable of running effortlessly over rough terrain.
If the engineers succeed, they may owe their success to what’s being learned from these insects and other animals, such as the guinea hen, that have their own remarkable abilities.
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Within certain limitations, Schmitt said, cockroaches don’t even have to think about running – they just do it, with muscle action that is instinctive and doesn’t require reflex control. That, in fact, is part of what the engineers are trying to achieve. Right now some robots have been built that can walk, but none of them can run as well as their animal counterparts. Even walking robots absorb far too much energy and computing power to be very useful.
“If we ever develop robots that can really run over rough ground, they can’t afford to use so much of their computing abilities and energy demand to accomplish it,” Schmitt said. “A cockroach doesn’t think much about running, it just runs. And it only slows down about 20 percent when going over blocks that are three times higher than its hips. That’s just remarkable, and an indication that their stability has to do with how they are built, rather than how they react.”
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In a computer model, they’ve created a concept that would allow a running robot to recover from a change in ground surface almost as well as a guinea hen. They are studying how the interplay of concepts such as energy storage and expenditure, sensor and feedback requirements, and leg angles can produce recovery from such perturbations. Ultimately, a team of OSU engineers hopes to use knowledge such as this to actually build robots that can efficiently run over rough terrain without using significant computing power.
When troops get stressed bad decisions can be made. If you have a programmed bot, it is not subject to stress and will follow the rules we give it. Much controversy is beginning to take place in this subject.
In the heat of battle, their minds clouded by fear, anger or vengefulness, even the best-trained soldiers can act in ways that violate the Geneva Conventions or battlefield rules of engagement. Now some researchers suggest that robots could do better.
“My research hypothesis is that intelligent robots can behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans currently can,” said Ronald C. Arkin, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, who is designing software for battlefield robots under contract with the Army. “That’s the case I make.”
Robot drones, mine detectors and sensing devices are already common on the battlefield but are controlled by humans. Many of the drones in Iraq and Afghanistan are operated from a command post in Nevada. Dr. Arkin is talking about true robots operating autonomously, on their own. . . read more
Governing Lethal Behavior: Embedding Ethics in a Hybrid Deliberative/Reactive Robot Architecture (pdf)
The Hastings Center, nonpartisan research into bioethics
Colin Allen home page
Ronald Arkin home page
Ah and we take another step closer to cylons and the world of Cory Doctrow.
Look at your computer setup and imagine that you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical parts. To give you an idea of how robust, think Lego bricks and you’re in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make most of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.
RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right – a self-replicating machine. [ read more from the RepRap home page]
The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation thinks religion is just a part of evolution. How totally fitting is it that those least likely to believe the theory of evolution because of religious beliefs do so because of evolution?
The reason this is here on the AI blog is because this was tested using sims. The code is open source. You can download a copy of “Evogod” and read the papers ‘Is Religion an Evolutionary Adaptation? for yourself.
If you are interesting in building sim worlds this this is a great place to start.